054 Fighting Anorexia – 10 Steps To Take Towards Forgiveness

by Anne-Sophie

in Podcast

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In this episode of Fighting Anorexia, I share 10 steps you can take in order to forgive yourself and those who have hurt you.

What does forgiving even mean?

Here is the definition:

Stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

Learning this skill is crucial in recovery. We all hold grudges. We all have baggage. We have all been hurt. We all have setbacks. However, unless we learn to let go of these unhealthy feelings, we’ll never be able to recovery completely and the past will haunt us endlessly.

How to Forgive Yourself

  1. Remind Yourself that You Suffer from a Disorder
  2. Stop holding yourself to impossible standards
  3. Stop letting others expectations hurt you
  4. Accept your emotions
  5. Forgiveness does not mean condoning wrongdoings

How to Forgive Others

6. Time heals
7. Distance is crucial
8. Work on Your Thoughts
9. Fill the Empty Space Within
10. Holding on only hurts you

Forgiveness is a journey, not a destination!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Birke August 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Watch out, another novel… 😉

This podcast contained one of those sentences that just stick to my mind: “we are so mean to ourselves, that oftentimes that is the biggest obstacle towards recovery.” How very true, Anne-Sophie! For years, I’ve believed that I don’t deserve anything and therefore restricted myself in SO many things – starting from the physical, obvious level and ending at the immaterial, mental level. Quite obviously, I didn’t allow myself to eat (only at certain times and only certain amounts). Another, more intricate aspect: I never treated myself to anything, for instance buying myself a coffee while in town. Instead, I always found tons of counterarguments: Why should I buy a coffee now? Have I done anything special, for example obtained a particularly good grade at university? No! Besides, coffee is so overpriced – after all, it’s only powder and milk. And anyway, I’ll be home soon, I’ll just make myself coffee there… Back at home, however, I then wouldn’t have coffee because it would be too late by then. Or because the milk would have too many calories. Or or or… Needless to say, I also never treated myself if I DID do something special or achieved something.

Today, I – unfortunately – still restrict myself in many areas of life. This is not meant to be an excuse but it often happens because I simply don’t notice it, self-restriction having become my usual way of thinking and acting. I actually have to FORCE myself to put myself first, to treat myself to something, to do myself something good – even if it’s just because of ‘nothing’.

However, I’m grateful that I start realizing my self-restricting habit at all – in fact more and more promptly. Also, as a next step, that I succeed in treating myself to something more and more frequently.

Another thing I wanted to get back to concerns your idea of forgiving other people – which immediately brought to my mind: Well, first of all you have to REALIZE that there’s actually someone whom you have to forgive! Perhaps this is only my own habit but I’ve always – and, with my anorexia, increasingly so – first of all blamed myself, no matter what had happened. Someone looked at me in a bizarre way? Of course that’s because I look awful. Someone’s email seemed to express anger? Of course that’s because I have (unknowingly) angered that person. The climax was reached – interestingly only recently, i.e. long AFTER the start of my recovery process.

Just a few months ago, I wrote a circular email following which a very, very close relative wrote back attacking me: How dare you write such an email, its content is insolent and insulting, it’s written in the completely wrong tone… I was SHOCKED (and of course immediately started to cry ;-))!!! Although I had spent an hour formulating my circular email precisely in order NOT to anger anyone, I must have chosen the wrong tone after all. I read through the email again and suddenly seemed to detect tons of ambiguous or wrong formulations. I immediately started to blame myself (I never ever can do anything right!) and wrote another circular email, excusing myself a thousand times and underlining that it had certainly not been my intention to insult anyone.

Interestingly enough, ALL of the addressed people wrote me back, asking why I had excused myself and underlining that my email’s content had been completely justified and its form very polite. In the end, I found out that the aforementioned relative had only attacked ME because she HERSELF had had a bad day, my email arriving in perfect time as her outlet.

This event really – figuratively speaking – woke me up. Since then, every time I blame myself for seemingly having angered / insulted someone, I ask myself two questions:
1. Is that person really angered – or does he / she simply SEEM angered? Perhaps he / she is simply stressed out?
2. If that person is truly angered, is this really because of you – or perhaps because of someone / something else?
In this point of blaming myself and of being too hard on myself, I still have a LOT of work to do. But at least, I’ve noticed my weakness and started to work on it.

P.S.: One last thing I HAVE to say: Anne-Sophie, your voice is certainly NOT weird and your podcasts are NOT stupid! They are, instead, so deeply helpful that I can’t even express my thanks to you.

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Anne-Sophie August 26, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Thanks for another brilliant comment, Birke.

Awareness is key and you’re on a very good way. You’re starting to see that putting yourself first is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do. It isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.

I hope that with time, you’ll also see how fantastic you are and that, no matter, what happens, it’s not always your fault. I love those two questions you’re asking yourself and I really believe that if we all took a few moments to pause before we blamed ourselves for everything other people were doing, recovery would be a lot easier.

Treat yourself to that coffee from now on. :)
Anne-Sophie recently posted..I am here… are YOU?My Profile

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